[nar-eyt, na-reyt]

verb (used with object), nar·rat·ed, nar·rat·ing.

to give an account or tell the story of (events, experiences, etc.).
to add a spoken commentary to (a film, television program, etc.): to narrate a slide show.

verb (used without object), nar·rat·ed, nar·rat·ing.

to relate or recount events, experiences, etc., in speech or writing.

Origin of narrate

1650–60; < Latin narrātus (past participle of narrāre to relate, tell, say), equivalent to nār(us) knowing, acquainted with (variant of gnārus; see cognition) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsnar·rat·a·ble, adjectivenar·ra·tor, nar·rat·er [nar-ey-ter, na-rey-, nar-uh-] /ˈnær eɪ tər, næˈreɪ-, ˈnær ə-/, nounmis·nar·rate, verb, mis·nar·rat·ed, mis·nar·rat·ing.un·nar·rat·a·ble, adjectiveun·nar·rat·ed, adjectivewell-nar·rat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for narrate

Synonym study

1. See describe. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for narrate

Contemporary Examples of narrate

Historical Examples of narrate

  • Let me narrate a fact interesting alike to the naturalist and meteorologist.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Virginia and Sing were compelled to narrate the adventure of the afternoon a dozen times.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • But I must refrain, for my business is to narrate, not to speculate.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • We will not narrate what took place in the chamber of the Princess.

  • The origin of these and the like stories is to be found in the tale which I am about to narrate.

British Dictionary definitions for narrate



to tell (a story); relate
to speak in accompaniment of (a film, television programme, etc)
Derived Formsnarratable, adjective

Word Origin for narrate

C17: from Latin narrāre to recount, from gnārus knowing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for narrate

1748, back-formation from narration or else from Latin narratus, past participle of narrare "to tell, relate, recount" (see narration). "Richardson and Johnson call it Scottish" [OED], a stigma which kept it from general use until 19c. A few mid-17c. instances are traceable to Spanish narrar. Related: Narrated; narrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper